Monthly Archives: February 2012

Reader dilemma: Sneakers. Need help.

Here’s a great question from a reader/former client who’s looking to stay both cute and comfy:

What sneakers are “in” (aka Converse, etc)? I saw some semi-cute ones at Marshall’s that had the Converse look to them, I think they were Coach. But I have no idea how to wear them…. like with skinnies, etc? I always feel short and chunky in them when i try them on. Meh.

Sneakers can tend to be meh in general, and a double meh if you’re trying to figure out how to wear them in a non-gym kind of way.

As far as what is in, Converse will really never go out of style. I have a several pairs, and will probably continue to wear them as the years go by. That said, there are other options out there that are a bit more flattering. Because while I adore my Chuck Taylors, my partner calls me Long Foot every time I wear them (see above). They tend to make my feet look gigantic, especially when paired with skinny jeans.

So here are some other options:

 

Jack Purcell Converse. 

As I mentioned before, Converse sneaks are considered one of the footwear classics that won’t ever really go out of style. But instead of a Chuck Taylor version, you can try something like the above Jack Purcells, which look slightly softer and more feminine.

Superga.

This Italian brand has also been around quite a while. I like them because the shape is less, well, Bozo the Clown. Plus, they come in a variety of fresh colors.

Sperry. 

Sperry is best known for that super preppy Topsider style. But they also make sneaker styles that are perfect for attractive casual dressing. The designer, Milly, collaborated with Sperry on a few spring-ready styles, like the coral one above.

So now that we’ve established some attractive, non-Long Foot options, how exactly does one wear them? Well you can definitely rock these with skinny or straight leg jeans. (Reserve the wide-legs for shoes with heels.) You can also wear the sneaks with casual dresses in the spring and summer. That’s completely acceptable! Whites, blues, and greys are never wrong, while colors and patterns can also be fun, albeit more trendy.

Have a style dilemma of your own? Hit me up on Twitter or the TRS Facebook page… I’m always hanging out there.

JCPenney and their whole new non-sale thing

So, my sale standby, JCPenney, is in the midst of a system overhaul. (Did you catch those Ellen commercials?) Not only are they renovating stores, but they’ve completely re-vamped their pricing system as well. Penney’s used to be known for crazy coupon insanity, but now they are experimenting with throwing that concept to the curb and providing everyday low prices instead. They kind of already did that, but apparently the prices are even lower now.

A few weeks ago, I ventured to a JCP near my hometown in NJ. Karen accompanied me on the adventure, as she knows more than I do (and probably more than a lot of Penney’s employees) about the whole change.

Upon arrival, I did notice a subtle difference in the appearance of the store. Things were cleaner, and there was far less clutter. Overstuffed clearance racks were long gone. The MNG by Mango section was particularly fancified, complete with black chandeliers and boldly clad mannequins.

I also noticed the price callouts on each rack advertising this ‘best price’ thing.

Karen chatted up a salesperson who was able to offer more insight into the new non-sale structure. She said that they’re offering these deal days of sorts on the 1st and 3rd friday of every month. The rest of the time, the prices are just supposed to be low. And she mentioned that only about 5% of the customers aren’t happy with the new way of JCP life… and they’re the old people. (Her words, not mine.)

The ticketed prices did seem lower than they used to be, and it was refreshing to shop in a calmer environment without a pocketful of potentially expired coupons.

I took home this drapey white blazer from JonesWear, which I thought looked pretty great. (P.S… they still need to work on the state of their dressing rooms, as the one I shared with Karen–she’s the ghostlike blur in the background–was underwhelming to say the least.) Oh, and the jacket was $60. Yes, pricey for JCPenney. But the quality was actually fantastic.

Have you shopped at the new Penney’s? Do you prefer the non-sale thing or do you miss the old pricing system?

My fabulous friend Kerry and her whirlwind Oscar extravaganza

Check it! My friend Kerry was lucky enough to attend last night’s Oscars. And in her true rockstar fashion, she shared her pics with me, along with some insider tidbits on what it was like to be a part of Hollywood’s big, fat, glamorous night.

Below are her thoughts! (In bold AND italic, because I’m just that excited for her.)

There are a ton of photographers, and if you are a normal invite, they try to heard you down the carpet as fast as possible. (What a term: ‘normal invite’!)

Ed Begley Jr took our picture in front of the oscars after we took one of him and his wife. Celebrities are nice! 

The carpet is very long and very cool.

Professional hair and makeup can make you feel like a princess – I highly recommend it for nights like these! I went to DryBar for the updo and Blushingtons for makeup… genius locations as they are side by side!  Both took the time to ask what I was wearing, what I wanted and did adjustments at the end if I wasn’t happy with what they had done. So nice.

I wanted a pop of color with the grey so had a bright pink clutch and wrap. and went pink on the nails too! Earrings are my grandmother’s clip-ons. Ring from my mom–it’s platinum with black jade–and the bracelet was, of all things, a bridesmaid gift. (I love how Kerry kept the earrings calmer as not to distract from the drama of her neckline. And bravo to the pop of pink!)

 I always heard it but seeing it in person is so true – sometimes dresses just don’t translate to the TV screen! Emma Stone’s dress was an amazing deep magenta and looked stunning with her red hair, but on screen (they had TV screens set up in the theater so we could all see close ups) it looked bright red. 

And yes, we went to in-n-out after the oscars in full dress and make up.  it was awesome eating a cheeseburger, animal style, in formal attire.  but i was also very happy to be in flip flops by the end of the night! The make up lasted the whole time and still looked good when i washed it all off.  I’m pretty sure there were 20 bobby pins in my hair but somehow it didn’t hurt at all. one of the joys of thin hair!
Loved every minute of it. Felt incredible.
Wow, it sounds like a beyond amazing experience. Thanks, Kerry, for sharing! You looked positively MARVELOUS.

And… my picks for oscars’ best-dressed

Did you catch the Oscars? For some reason, I watched the ENTIRE THING. Which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, as I’ve only seen 0.5 of the 9 films nominated. But who cares about any of that. On to the fashion!

Here are my picks for best-dressed:

1. Gwyneth Paltrow.

Gwyneth was by far my favorite of the night. She wore a cape! It’s a risk, but this risk paid off big time. The Tom Ford creation looked stunning both with and without the super cape. Overall, a huge success. The color was a strong white, and the structured feel was perfect for her. She stuck to one strong cuff and some rings, which made for a refreshing departure from the usual over-the-top jewelry indulgence that happens at these shows. You go Gwynnie.

2. Michelle Williams.

There’s something so captivating about Michelle Williams, and the choice of a bold coral color really worked for her this time. I love the addition of a brooch at the waist, and an unexpected pink clutch. Classic and feminine yet totally fresh.

3. Rooney Mara.

Rooney is all about the Lisbeth Salander persona, but I’m totally feeling it. The hair and makeup were severe, yet still managed to appear understated. Sure, there was some odd detail in the boob area of the Givenchy gown, but Rooney pulled it off. And again, I admire the restraint in jewelry. Too many young actresses look matronly on the red carpet due to the overload of expensive sparkle.

Runners-Up: Emma Stone and Milla Jovovich.

I have to give Emma props for picking a color that most redheads shy away from. It is unfortunate though that this Giambattista Valli gown was soooo similar to the Balenciaga worn by Nicole Kidman a few years ago. That said, Emma looked sophisticated yet youthful. And Milla was pure vintage glamour in Elie Saab.

Honorable Mention: Glenn Close.

Okay, let me explain this one. I wasn’t head-over-heels in love with this Zac Posen look, but I do have to give Glenn major credit for exploring a different direction when it comes to arm-covering formal attire. So many women prefer sleeves, but they’re not easy to come by. And when sleeves do happen, they run the risk of looking billowy and shapeless, like they did on Melissa McCarthy and Meryl Streep (love these ladies so much, but their sleeves really hindered the looks of their dresses). By trying out a blazer, Glenn created a tailored, structured look while still getting the coverage. That said, the jacket itself would have worked better had it been a tad shorter. Or if she had worn it closed like Tilda Swinton did at the Globes. But A for effort for Glenn!

All photos: Getty images via Zimbio

A sale at Kohl’s… or is it?

image from shopgala

I caught this news segment last night about Kohl’s and their alleged practice of marking up items before sticking the sale price on them. Generally speaking, I’m a Kohl’s fan; it was the one store I braved last Black Friday, and I have good luck with some of their clothing brands.

However, after seeing this piece, I am SO not surprised. I’ve suspected several stores of doing the same thing for years. It’s disappointing for sure, but again, not mind-blowing. The whole beast that is retail sale culture has become so intense and out of control, that I won’t put anything past anybody these days.

Not to say this is right, because it’s NOT. We, as consumers, should not be duped into thinking we’re gettting a great deal when we’re not. But I am glad that this issue is being talked about, as it will hopefully shed light on how crazy the whole sale thing has become. I grew up as a bargain shopper, and I understand the thrill of the hunt. But after seeing closet upon closet of sale items stacked up and rarely (if ever!) worn, I believe we all need to step back, take a deep breath, and ask ourselves why we are buying said item. Because if it’s purely for the pricetag, we now know that may not be the real deal.

Video time!

Remember way back when, when I was so psyched about the addition of Mannequin? (btw, still haven’t decided on a name.) Well, I had mentioned it was for a fun video series I was working on, and the series is finally up and running!

I did a bunch of how-to style videos for eHow, and they’re now available for your viewing pleasure. The series is titled Fashion for Women over 40, but there’s a lot of useful info for women of any age. There are a bunch of videos, so I will be posting a few at a time on the blog, and will have them uploaded to my YouTube channel shortly. If you simply can’t wait another minute, and want to watch them all in a row right NOW, you can go directly to eHow.

And please pardon my weirdly serious on-camera demeanor. Apparently when I’m nervous I lose my ability to smile effortlessly.

First up: how NOT to look like a soccer mom. Check it.

doo.ri for Macy’s: perfect for all those gallery openings you attend

Designer Doo-Ri Chung’s collection for Macy’s hit the floors yesterday, and I stopped by the store to check it out:

There were a lot of bold prints, colors, and doo ri-esque drapiness. Karen was with me, and commented that it reminded her of Vera Wang’s collection for Kohl’s, which I’m often on the fence about. Some pieces are great, and others have weird and superfluous design details. But back to Doo.

Overall, I liked the bold prints and textured fabrics of the dresses and coats. They are definitely statement-making designs, so if you’re more on the conservative side, these may be a bit too artsy.

I can see a lot of these pieces going into the ‘wear to a gallery opening’ section of people’s closets. You know, that gallery opening that you know you’ll never go to, but it makes sense to be prepared. And Doo-Ri’s your girl for that.

Have you seen the doo.ri for impulse collection yet? Thoughts? Opinions? Do share!

Onlinin’ (a.k.a. my week in review)

First of all, so SORRY for the inexcusable neglect of my blog lately! I know a lot of very supportive readers have been (politely) asking what the heck happened to me. All good things have been keeping me busy, mostly addressing West coasters’ style needs and meeting amazing new clients in the process. I’m back in New York starting tomorrow, both for Fashion Week, and for some workin’. Meanwhile, I did want to share some cool web stuff I stumbled upon within the past few days. I figured I’d put all in one post, because, well, what the heck, right. Some online candy for the end of the work week!

photo: Gap

Gap has come out with a line of supposedly super-soft, ‘luxury’ tees under the label Gap Pure. Racked NY claims they’re the ‘best t-shirts you’ll ever own’. Talk about pressure! As I’m always on the lookout for the perfect tee, this has me intrigued. I’ll be heading over there today to check out the goods in person. Will let you know how it goes, for sure. (I’m also pretty excited for the butt-covering aspect of these ones.)

 

image: Shopbop.com

I wanted to point out the cool stuff that’s been coming to my inbox from Shopbop. Their recent look books have been focused on career pieces, and I think it’s worth a looksy. Of course, the items themselves are a smidge on the pricey side, but the overall ideas are great inspiration. Check out the Workwear Boutique, Ultimate Closet, and Work with Color.

image: Glen Luchford/Dazed & Confused via NYMag

Lastly, let’s talk Pinterest. Basically, I like it. I’m having a BLAST finding both practical and beautiful images (like the Rooney Mara one above). Being a tad old school, I have always loved a good collage style inspiration board, and Pinterest allows me to do this without making a mess on the living room floor. I’m just getting started, so things are all in a few basic categories. But still follow me, cuz the stuff I like is pretty.

That’s all for now. Stay tuned for that Gap update, along with some fun fashion week reviews for Fall 2012 stuff.

Have a great weekend!

UPDATE: Gap Pure was just kinda meh. The quality of the fabrics were okay, but definitely not amazing. I ended up buying a few longer tees just for layering purposes, but when I went to put one on this morning, it fell in a funky, unintentional asymmetrical way. Point being, I’d rather spend a little more money on nicer tees! Sorry, Gap. 

Marni for H&M makes me happy

I tend to lose track of all the designer collaborations happening in the world, but one in particular has gotten be really excited. Marni for H&M debuts on March 8th, and I’m really looking forward to the colorful patterns and chunky jewelry that Marni is known for. (Just FYI, Marni is an Italian brand that’s typically quirky with a vintage feel.)

Here’s a very artsy fartsy video shot by Sofia Coppola that gives you a sneak peek of the line.

And check back here on March 8th for my take on the collection once it hits stores!

MObama rocks some color, color, and more color

MObama has been making the rounds lately to promote the anniversary of her Let’s Move campaign. Since I’m a huge fan of the First Lady’s style, I was psyched to see the choices she made for each appearance.

These are two of my faves. And also two fabulous examples of how to incorporate color into your look this spring.

The first, from the Jay Leno show, shows off a popular way to rock color for those who want to wear it, but don’t want to WEAR it. Make sense? Michelle teams a color with a neutral. Color with a neutral. Repeat it to yourself. It’s a match made in heaven. While her top is technically a matte gold, it still serves as a muted tone. The neutral works to ground the whole look, while still letting the exciting hue take the spotlight. This is a perfect way to introduce color into your wardrobe, one step at a time.

The second look is a bit more adventurous. Here she has a whole lot of color going on, from the shoes to the pants to the top to the jacket. But it works for her, a.) because of her confidence, and b.) because she manages to choose colors that all complement each other in some way. Plus, the dark navy pants serve as a foundation, grounding everything else.

Colors are not easy. I get that. And even I would probably have some comfort issues rocking the second look. But it’s still something to learn from, so that color won’t be so scary come spring.

(P.S. some of my favorite colorful pieces are happening at J.Crew right now, which just so happens to be one of MObama’s fave retailers. Check it out some fresh options here and here.)

Have specific concerns about wearing color? Hit me up in the comments, or on FB or Twitter!

all images from mrs-o.com